crafted by photobiz

As I Saw Them

Each photograph in the Florida Cowboy Collection has a short poem that discribes the picture as I saw it. You'll find most of them below. I hope you enjoy them.

5:30 Wake-up

An eye opening rubdown with a stiff bristle brush

Starts my 5:30 wake-up day.

Then it’s combing my tail and checking my feet

And a nice mist of insect spray.

My bridle and saddle are last on the list

And now I’m ready for work.

Some might complain ‘bout my lot in life

But do you get this pampered every morning when you get up, well do you?

I rest my case.

This photograph was taken at the VC Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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One Way Street

When it’s round-up time on the way to the pens

You’ll hear the thunder of thousands of feet.

Make no mistake, don’t challenge their drive

For this is a one way street.

This photograph was taken at the Hi Hat Ranch in Sarasota, Florida

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No Parking

When a long day is done I come home to rest

And the little woman is cleaning.

I’ve been warned before not to make a mess

And it’s easy to get her meaning.

When I stepped on the porch I completely forgot

The mud on my boots was marking.

Then that sweet little voice from inside the house

YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THAT . . . “NO PARKING.”

This photograph was taken at the VC Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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Morning Round up

I’m the luckiest guy in this whole wide world

Come and see what I get to do.

I join God in the morning on the back of my horse

And thank him for life… do you?

I have time to see what our maker has given

What I’ve known since I was a pup.

And my favorite part of each passing day

Is with God on the morning round up.

This photograph was taken at the VC Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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“But Now It Is Time To Play”

I love to chase cows and I keep them corralled

I look forward to work every day.

When the clock strikes 5 and you say “we’re not through”

I can’t help what I have to say.

I just keep on working I don’t have a choice

But I cannot keep it at bay.

I burst right out in my loudest loud voice

BUT NOW IT IS TIME TO PLAY!

This photograph was taken at the Arcadia Livestock Auction in Arcadia, Florida

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Partners

We’re partners you see my friend he and me

Together we get the job done.

We’re team mates, we’re pals we look out for each other

But we always have time for fun.

I’m with him throughout the heat and the rain

We’re together through thick and through thin.

At the end of the day I am so proud to say

We’re partners, we’re dogs, and we’re men.

This photograph was taken at the Hi Hat Ranch in Sarasota, Florida

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Hombres

We’re proud to be the men that we are

Strength, and courage is what we portray.

With the exception of one who gently allows

Us to earn the title “Hombre.”

This is the only totally Hispanic cowboy crew that we know of in the state of Florida. The woman in the photograph is the daughter of the ranch owner. This photograph was taken at the VC Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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About Gordie

That leathery, sometimes threatening, sometimes compassionate face has been seen around the livestock auction in Arcadia, Florida for almost a half century. Gordie goes to work with his shirt pocket stuffed with cigars, by the end of the day they have all passed through his fingers. When I first saw Gordie he was sitting on a bench blowing smoke rings and staring into a private world where only he was allowed. I raised my camera and just as I pressed the shutter he turned and glared into my eyes. Taken back, I had only one recourse, “Gotcha” I exclaimed as I sat down beside him and showed him his picture in the screen of my digital camera. He smiled.

This photograph was taken at the Arcadia Livestock Auction in Arcadia, Florida

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Dog and Pony Show

A horse and a dog, there part of a team

A team that’s made up of three.

A dog and pony in this photo show

The one that is missing is me.

This photograph was taken at the Arcadia Livestock Auction in Arcadia, Florida

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Bull Dogs

When a two thousand pound bull decides not to cooperate, a cowboy only has a couple of choices. They can give up and let the bull have his way, or they can call on the help of the third member of the team… the cow dogs. The dogs are sometimes used to get an animal out of a situation that would be dangerous for the cowboys. In this case the bull busted out of a pen made up of 2x6 lumber, ran through two barbwire fences and into a canal nearly a mile from the pens. The dogs jumped into the canal behind him and ran him into a nearby field where he immediately stuck his head into a hole in the pile of timbers you see in the photo. The dogs nipped at his back legs until he backed away from the timber and the cowboys were able to get a rope on him. It takes three ropes around his neck stretching in three different directions and one around his back leg to bring him down. He was then put into a trailer and taken to another pasture, where he could have gone in the first place without all the fuss.

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida. The Seminoles run a 35,000 acre co-op on the reservation.

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Cut The Bull

If you think doing what we do is an easy job

You might try doing what we do yourself.

You’ll find out what it takes to do what we do

And if you do, life will always be full.

When friends tell you just how tough their job is

You’ll reply with a wink… “cut the bull.”

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

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Cracker

One of the tools of the cowboy trade

Is a 12 foot long leather whip.

That’s how Florida cowboys got their name

From the sound that comes from the tip.

They use the whip to drive the herd

It seldom touches a cow’s back.

The sounds that you hear from miles away

Are the whistles, the shouts, and the crack.

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

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Lunchtime Siesta

No mas dormir the smell of bacon leads my feet to floor

Trabajo este dia sooner started sooner done

Though no finito

necesito

Siesta now aqui

Dormir at last

I dream trabajo works while I take sleep.

A noche brings the hearth of home and joy familia brings

With boots tied tight my rest is slight

Return to work again.

This photograph was taken at the VC Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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I love what I see

I love what I see… the land, you, and me

For this life I thank God up above.

I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest dreams

For you see, I see what I love.

This photo was taken at the Taylor Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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Get off my back

This game is not fun for any one

I’m tellin ya, call off the attack.

I wanna go home and hit the hay

I warn ya get off my back.

This photo was taken at the Rodeo in Arcadia, Florida

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Where’s the beef

They expect me to bid on that mangy thing

That cow is skinny as a rail.

If I was the auctioneer today

I would end it, and say no sale.

I see her looking straight at me

She probably ain’t go no teeth.

I heard you say she’s as cute as a bug

But I say “Where’s the Beef”.

This photograph was taken at the Arcadia Livestock Auction in Arcadia, Florida

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Come On

There’s lots of ways to round up the herd

There are all kinds of pros and con.

We just drive to the field, honk the horn in the truck

Throw out feed, and holler “Come On.”

This photo was taken at the Taylor Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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Washing Ruby

I love my horse, her name is Ruby

And she really loves me too.

I wash her clean at the end of the day

Grandma says it’s the right thing to do.

I like to hug her and kiss her nose

It feels very soft to me.

She likes to cuddle and snuggle me too

She’s my very best friend you see.

This photo was taken at Johnson & Johnson Show Horses in Sarasota, Florida

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4, 3, 2 . . .

Each time I ride a wild bull

It’s just like my first time out.

The difference between then and now

Is I know that without a doubt.

I’ll bang, and twist, and slam, and crack

Oh this is nothing new.

I grit my teeth and hold my breath

And whisper 4, 3, 2 . . .

This photo was taken at The Arcadia Rodeo in Arcadia, Florida

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Maaaaaaaam

You were right here just a minute ago

I only went to take a look.

When I got back you were gone

And now I am really shook.

You’re not supposed to wander away

You were standing right by this palm.

I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find you

I just want my Maaaaam!

This photograph was taken at the VC Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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Home Cookin

The boss man yells bout time for lunch

We stop work and we’re all lookin.

For the grub to arrive so that we can rest

And fill up on lots of home cookin.

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

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Giving Thanks

A cowboy lives a simple life

His rules are short and few.

“It just don’t matter what a man says

What counts is inside of you.”

So he stops for a moment giving thanks to his maker

For the work that he has to do.

For his family, his country the U.S. of A.

And that big pot of cowboy stew.

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

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Seeing Eye To Eye

We ride together from dawn to dusk

Working cattle in the hot Florida sun.

It takes special men to make up a team

Each one’s talents to get the job done.

But when it’s time to take a rest

Competition starts bye and bye.

A challenge is made, they quickly face off

Both seeing eye to eye.

The grip gets tighter, as tensions rise

A fierce battle between two men.

Over the phone fortunes are made

By choosing the right one to win.

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

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Cut It Out

This cow needs to go in the other direction

But she’s trying to get back to the herd.

It’s back and forth, and in and out

This is really becoming absurd.

I need to cut this cow from the others

And in final frustration I shout.

At the top of my lungs, in my loudest loud voice

Common cow. . . cut it out!

This photograph was taken at the VC Ranch in Arcadia, Florida

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Arthur

Arthur was born on a horse you know

He’s a cowboy of the highest degree.

A forman, a father, a friend and more

An example of what a man should be.

This photo was taken at the Hi Hat Ranch in Sarasota, Florida

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It Snot Easy

They get on my back, yell open the gate

Very few have ridden me.

I bounce um around, give a twist and a turn

Then I jump in the air. . . you see.

I go through the same thing day after day

It’s a tough job don’t you agree.

But I will show them just who is the boss

It snot easy being me.

This photo was taken at The Arcadia Rodeo in Arcadia, Florida

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Supervised Playtime

OK you guys you better take off

Cause I’m commin after you.

And if I catch you you’re gunna be sorry

You’re bout to be hog tied. . . it’s true.

There’s only one who’s not on the run

He’s the one in charge of this rhyme.

The boss man keeps things under control

Making this “supervised playtime.”

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

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Moment of Truth

It’s the moment of truth

It’s finally here.

The time I’ve been waiting for

My new frontier.

Who owns the buzzer

This great beast or me.

Who has the skill

In a moment we’ll see.

This photo was taken at the Arcadia Rodeo in Arcadia, Florid

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I’m In Charge

If you think I’m commin outta here

Well you got another think commin.

You just stay right there where you are

And I’m gunna send you a runnin.

You’ve tried this lots of times before

Your ropes just can’t take me down.

I’m tough and I’m mean and I don’t like you

I suggest you just turn around.

Oh ya, well while we’re lookin eye to eye

I’m gunna put a rope on you.

Your commin with me like it or not

Cause I’m in charge. . . it’s true.

This photo was taken on the Brighton Seminole Reservation in Brighton, Florida.

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Cracker Pack

A cracker gal and a cracker dog

And a couple dozen cracker cows.

You’ll find them on a Florida ranch

If you’re lookin I’ll tell you how.

They remind us of our history

This group in white and black.

The gal, the dog, and all the cows

I call my “Cracker Pack”.

This photo was taken on the Strickland ranch in Myakka City, Florida.